The death of my D&D game, and other news

A lot has been happening to me lately, both within the realm of this blog’s scope and outside of it.

Firstly, my D&D campaign has stalled.  One of the player’s partners is very sick, and so they are moving to Queensland to be closer to her family.  This is a very hard time for them, and obviously the game is of no consequence in the face of such things. Still, it’s a little sad.  The campaign was just getting off the ground, and was shaping up to be perhaps the best I’ve ever run.  This is always a risk with role playing games.  They can be very emotionally investing, like tuning in to your favourite TV show (mine is Orphan Black at the moment by the way – haven’t enjoyed a show this much since Buffy), but even more intense.  And in my experience they more often than not peter out, always ending before their time.

Maybe when things settle down for them we can play by Skype or something.

I also have some good news.  Since I quit my PhD I’ve been scrounging up low/unpaid work on the side as an editor and proofreader, which I really enjoy. I’ve started proofreading an upcoming cyberpunk skirmish game by a British designer, and am really excited to know that my name will be in print as an editor.

I’ve also been selling off my 40k stuff, and while I didn’t get as much as I’d hoped for my Iybraesil Eldar, one of the bidders contacted me and commissioned me to make him a female Ulthwe farseer on a jetbike.  I’m pretty stoked: I know not everyone likes my dirty painting style and let’s be honest, there are commission artists out there far more skilful than I am.  But it really made me happy to get his email, and to know that I’ll be paid for doing something creative.

Finally, just a little thought to finish off.  I’ve been playing Shadowrun Returns on my laptop and it’s really fun.  It even has a level editor!  I love messing with them.  Anyway, it’s made me realise that what I really want is for Infinity to be Shadowrun, only without all the silly elves and orks and magic.  I want a modern cyberpunk RPG that isn’t science fantasy.  But then, Infinity almost is an RPG.  You could certainly play it that way.

I guess that’s why I keep wanting there to be a viable and widely accepted Mercs faction.  Instead of being someone’s military, I want to be a team of shadowrunners: street scum – maybe even ateks – hired to do illegal black ops.  With cyber-enhancements and mirrorshades and cargo pants and leather jackets.  That would be fantastic.

Note: if you read this yesterday (13 March), I just edited it a bit because I realised it might have come off as a criticism of Infinity, which is not what I meant.  I think I just became aware that while there are many similarities, Japanese and Western cyberpunk are not quite the same.  The Western genre tends to be more dystopian and focuses on stories about low-lives.  Infinity is a great game, but the clean, ordered, military focus puts it firmly in the Japanese style of cyberpunk.

12 thoughts on “The death of my D&D game, and other news

  1. So sorry to hear of the RPG game death… that stinks. I too had a game go *poof* due to life things (booo) but am now trying a new one. (It’s very-very-very WEIRD) so we will see.

    • beat ronin says:

      Thanks Heather, sorry to hear about your game too. Was that Champions? I seem to remember you were playing that. What are you playing now?

      I’m really reminiscing about Shadowrun at the moment but sadly there’s no-one to play with.

  2. Peter Snow says:

    Best wishes for your friend’s partner, hope their situation improves in the near future. It’s sad when bad stuff happens to people you know.

    On the positive side, the editing/proofreading works sounds quite interesting/cool especially the cyberpunk game. Sounds like the editing is really up your alley 😀

    Lastly- not sure if this warrants a pagebreak, but I was taught in school that a new topic = new paragraph (QLD education system- please don’t hold it against me :P). Regarding commissions, would you be able to pull off Biel-tan eldar by any chance?

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey Pete, thanks for the kind words 🙂 Yep editing is fun. As usual I’m kind of in the wrong decade: there is a lot less editing work around these days than there used to be, I’m told. Even major publishing companies tend to skimp on it, and most smaller-fry don’t even bother. From the work I’ve done so far (and been turned down for) I think it’s partially because people just don’t think it’s important these days. I mean games are routinely released with bugs in them and then get patched. In the last two or three years I don’t think I’ve read a book where I didn’t notice a typo. It’s also partially because a lot of people who are good writers (like academics) feel like they don’t need an editor. They almost get insulted if you suggest it. But so far I’ve learned that the more experienced and profesional someone is, the more likely they are to think editing and proofing are essential. So there is work out there, and it’s good for a bit of money on the side.

      Wow that was a big tangent, sorry. Just caught me at a blathery moment I guess. Went out for a farewell the night before last for my player mentioned above, and I don’t think I’ve had that much to drink in about three or four years! Still a bit scattered…

      How many guys are you thinking? I’d be happy to help, but I’d prefer just to do one-off models. A whole army is beyond me in terms of available time I’m afraid.

  3. SinSynn says:

    Hey James!
    I’m back to reading blogs again….

    Ah, life…It will get in da way of yer hobby…Iz inevitable.
    Hope everything works out on that front fer yer boy.

    As for anything ‘cyberpunk’ and ‘skirmish,’ well…shit, man- those are two of my favorite words in one sentence…Keep us posted, if possible.

    Well now I’m all curious as to what you originally said ’bout Infinity, but yer right- Infinity definitely falls on the ‘High End’ of the Cyberpunk social spectrum, but I’m not sure if the ‘grimy end’ is strictly limited to the Japanese (in anime/manga format, anyway).

    Ah, it’s good to be able to read properly again.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey SinSynn, good to have you back!

      I…can’t exactly remember what I wrote. See above: too many drinks the night before last and I’m still a bit vague. It wasn’t too much different, I was just worried it came off as me criticising Infinity for not offering exactly what I want in terms of armies. Which is unfair, as it is what it is and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      I might not have been clear about the cyberpunk thing. What I was trying to say is that Infinity is not Japanese, obviously, but it’s Japanese style. All the Japanese cyberpunk I can think of is about the military, or cops, or the grey areas between, e.g. Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed. In all the American and British cyberpunk I can think of, the protagonists are criminals or other shady types, or some sort of expert consultant who gets drawn into a violent world.

  4. kaptainvon says:

    Alas, three out of five roleplaying groups sooner or later fall foul of Circumstances. I hope your player’s better half recovers soon, and I do recommend the Skype thing; it can work.

    This sort of thing is why I generally prefer to keep my games short-haul these days. The ten-part ‘Chemical Wedding’ for Dark Heresy lasted six sessions – not bad, but not enough to really see itself through. I reckon four to six is probably all right… like a good Doctor Who serial.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hi Von. Yeah. If I’d had it limited to six sessions at the beginning we would have been finished last game, which would have been perfect. The problem I had was that my players specifically wanted an open-ended campaign that would “last for years”.

      But with the mobility in most people’s lives these days (e.g. moving around a lot for work is not just for the military any more), it’s just not realistic to expect that. I’ve been living in Canberra for over ten years now and not one of my close friends that I met when I came here for undergrad is still here. I think Skype is the way to go these days.

      • kaptainvon says:

        The DM’s choice: give ’em what they say they want, or give ’em what you know you can. I am increasingly inclined toward the latter, these days, possibly because I’m already instructed to bend over backwards for the sake of others’ agency in professional life.

        I do have one group that’s been together for years but that’s on the proviso that we might only actually play two sessions a year. Works well for through-the-ages Vampire though. ^^

  5. The Warlock says:

    Hey James,

    Wow I didn’t realise most people skimp on editing, you’d think they’d want everything checked and perfect before publishing. I’ve noticed also that a great deal of games are being released frequently in an alpha or beta mode and ‘early-access’ is basically play testing for the designer.

    As for commissioning for the eldar, it’d be something along the lines of one full guardian squad if that’s not too much? That’s the only part of biel-tan I can’t do, the white of the guardians T_T whereas vehicles and aspects won’t be a prob.

    • beat ronin says:

      Well, a lot of people just get their significant other/friend to do them a favour and do it for free. Editing is one of those things that’s actually a skilled task (and you need a knack for it), but for some reason people have come to think it’s something anyone can do and don’t like paying for it. As one editor I spoke to said: you don’t balk at paying a plumber $80 an hour to fix your toilet, but most people will refuse to pay half that rate for editing for some reason *shrug*

      You get what you pay for though, which is why there are so many typos and so much poorly written stuff around these days.

      I could manage a squad 🙂 If you can wait. This farseer is due to be finished in about a month. And it would probably take me a month or two?

  6. The Warlock says:

    I can’t wait until we see a typo in a headline, that’d be hilarious

    A month or two or longer would be fine. I’m not going to be gaming anytime soon ^_^;
    Gotta find a place to move out into in <2months with uni and work going on so hobby stuff is back-burning. I'd also be happy regardless of price as I've seen your painting and I'd give both my arms to be half as good.

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